Unintended Consequences

frankpetersSounds like ace angel podcaster Frank Peters just lost one of his charter sponsors due to him releasing an interview with me about my recent change of angel investing strategy. Gust, nee AngelSoft, pulled their sponsorship of him.  I don’t know anyone who has been more supportive of both angel groups and Gust than Frank.

I explain in the podcast why so many entrepreneurs avoid going to angel groups–they are too damn slow. And I said that in the new wired world, many of the functions that traditionally have been provided by angel groups are now done better via the internet: better education, better access, and via syndicates, better filtering. What’s a better filter, agreeing to listen to someone, or listening and then putting money into a company? The former describes an angel group approach, the latter a syndicated approach. I then simply stated that Gust had based its business model on the old approach, linked to a pre-internet world of angel groups, rather than the current world where the most connected angels share deals outside of groups.

Before we went on, I told Frank I intended to take on the sacred cow, the raison d’etre for angel groups themselves, and by extension, that of his sponsor, Gust. Frank replied, “We’re journalists, say what you think.” I feel terrible that he’s now paying the price.

I haven’t spoken with Frank since the interview, but I think that it sucks that being open to airing non-traditional thoughts has cost him. Take a listen to the interview, but join me in doing the right thing and donating a few bucks to help keep his podcast going. It’s the only game in town for good audio interviews on angel investing.


5 thoughts on “Unintended Consequences

  1. Pasted in from Frank’s website:

    Comment by Frank:
    Monday, December 2nd 2013 at 2:58 pm |
    Ty’s old Skype account was terminated for lack of use, so we connected briefly to test his new one. Ty wanted to ask a question of me, “Would this remark be ok to make?” He was sensitive because Gust is a sponsor of the Show. “This is journalism,” was my response. The next day I receive an email from an AngelList attorney telling me to make edits to the interview. (I never oblige attorneys and I’ve been threatened by some big ones.) Then today I make a courtesy email to Gust to let them know of the AngelList emphasis of this interview — an hour later the sponsorship is terminated.

    I hope it’s worth it…

    1. Ty, just to clarify, neither I nor Gust have any problem whatsoever with your comments, your thoughts on syndicates, or AngelList or anything else. In fact, I actually agree with many of your points about the angel investing world going through significant changes, and while I happen to disagree with you about the raison d’être of angel groups and their value in the new world, we’d be pleased to consider publishing an essay on that subject on the Gust blog, if you’d care to write one. Our decision to end our sponsorship of TPFS had zero to do with anything you said in the podcast.

      It happens that Gust has been a sponsor of The Frank Peters Show since the end of 2009, and we think it has been—and is—a great addition to the whole world of angels and entrepreneurs. But as with every other business, we have a limited marketing budget, and at the fourth anniversary of our annual five figure sponsorship, as I wrote to Frank,

      “You have a great audience, but by this time we’ve likely reached most of them several times, and it’s our assessment that from a purely practical basis, our scarce marketing dollars can be employed even more effectively in other areas…We’ve enjoyed our relationship (and, indeed, we mandate that all our staff listen regularly to the show), and hope that you have found it valuable as well…we are pleased with our sponsorship, and would be happy to serve as a reference if you would find that helpful. We also look forward to providing you with news stories as they come up…and of course I’m always available as a guest for shows where you think it would be appropriate.”

      Let me know if you’d like to write a piece for the Gust blog!

      1. Thanks for your reply, David. As far as your kind offer, I don’t even have time to write my own posts, much less guest posts, even though I’m sure I’d have a broader audience via yours.

        The times, they are a-changing for sure. May all of our respective entrepreneurial efforts bear fruits.

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